Colleges worry the federal student aid verification process singles out more low-income students and may be stopping them from receiving grants.
Many scholarships, grants and other financial assistance given to low-income college students are usually offered on the premise that those students are already receiving federal aid to help pay tuition.
But a growing number of colleges are finding more low-income students are being flagged by the Department of Education during the bureaucratic process of verifying income eligibility for federal aid, and that those students are not completing the application process as a result. College administrators are concerned that much-needed aid is being left on the table by frustrated and discouraged students who’ve given up on the cumbersome process of applying for financial aid.
Financial aid experts call this retreat “verification melt,” and many college administrators fear their neediest students may ruin their chances of earning college degrees and improving their long-term economic prospects.